Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):
Mr. Speaker, I accept in the spirit in which my hon. friend has offered it the suggestion which he has made.. May I say to him that no one in this house has emphasized more strongly than I have from time to time the importance of the house giving its attention to matters pertaining to the war rather than to some of the domestic questions which it has been discussing. If my hon. friend will look over the proceedings as recorded in Hansard he will find that the time of the house which has been taken up by the matters other than those relating to the war has not been so taken up by hon. members from this side to anything like the extent that it has been by hon. gentlemen opposite. There has been. I think it is reasonable to say, far too much timfe taken up with discussion of domestic questions to the exclusion of more important matters pertaining to the war.
As my hon. friend will recall, in order to-facilitate and expedite the business of the house, he and I and other leaders of the house met together and decided upon a programme which we thought would serve that end. and certain measures were made a sort of "order of the month", and the order which was then set down has been strictly followed ever since.
I must say that I was surprised that in the appointment of some of the standing committees the time of the house should have been taken up longer than was necessary simply to appoint the committees. Matters were discussed which might well have been left until after the committees had had opportunity to go ahead with their work.
Subtopic: REQUEST FOR GOVERNMENT STATEMENTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS TO PROGRESS OF OPERATIONS